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For the district, see Amphoe U Thong.
For the style of Buddha iconography, see U Thong Style.
Ramathibodi I
รามาธิบดีที่ 1
King of Ayutthaya kingdom
Royal Statue of King Ramathibodi I in Amphoe U Thong, Suphanburi province, Thailand
King of Siam
Reign 1351–1369
Successor Ramesuan
Issue Ramesuan
Full name
Ramathibodi I
Dynasty Uthong Dynasty
Born 1314
Died 1369

U-thong[1] (Thai: อู่ทอง) or Ramathibodi I (Thai: รามาธิบดีที่ 1) (1314–1369) was the first king of the kingdom Ayutthaya (now part of Thailand),[2]:222 reigning from 1351 to 1369. He was known as Prince U Thong (meaning "source of gold") before he ascended to the throne on March 4, 1351. A native of Chiang Saen (now in Chiang Rai Province) he claimed descent from Khun Borom and propagated Theravada Buddhism as the state religion.

Ramathibodi I's position was likely secured by political marriage and family ties. He was married to a daughter of the ruling family of the Suphanburi Kingdom, and may have also married into an alliance with the rulers of Lavo Kingdom (also known as Lopburi), it was likely the king of Lavo that he was initially chosen to succeed. He appointed both his brother-in-law and son to positions of leadership in Suphanburi and Lavo, respectively, and established his own capital in the new city of Ayutthaya. King Ramathabodi's reign bound together the Khmer rulers of Lavo, the Tai in the west, and the Chinese, Javanese, Bugis and Acehnese merchants who inhabited the coastal areas.

According to a better-known source, a seventeenth-century account by Dutchman Jeremias Van Vliet, a Renowned Legend stated that Ramatibodi was an ethnic Chinese, having sailed down from China. After succeeding in trade, he became influential enough to rule the city of Phetchaburi, a coastal town of the Gulf of Thailand, before travelling up to Ayutthaya.

In 1352 he laid siege to Yasodharapura. He was successful the following year and placed one of his sons on the throne. However, they were only able to keep the throne until 1357, when the Khmers were able to regain it.[2]:236

King Ramathibodi's death sparked a conflict over succession. Initially, his son King Ramesuan became ruler of Ayutthaya, but King Ramesuan later abdicated in favor of King Ramathibodi's brother-in-law, King Borommaracha I. Some sources indicate that the abdication occurred peacefully, while others indicate that King Ramesuan's abdication followed a bloody civil war.


  1. ^ The Royal Institute. List of monarchs Ayutthaya. (Thai)
  2. ^ a b Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1. 
  • Wyatt, David K., Thailand: A Short History, New Haven (Yale University), 2003. ISBN 0-300-08475-7
  • Srisak Vallipodom, Sheikh Ahmad Qomi and the History of Siam, Cultural Center of the Islamic City, Republic of Iran, Bangkok 1995, page 209
  • Plubplung Kongchana, The Persians in Ayutthaya, Institute of Asia Pacific Studies, Srinakharinwirot University.

See also[edit]

Born: 1314 Died: 1369
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Ayutthaya
Succeeded by